We talk a lot about what kind of people we deserve.
The perfect gentleman. The forever person. The soul mate, the husband material, the woman or man of our dreams.
We talk endlessly about how we want other people to treat us, but not a whole lot about how we plan to treat them.
We don’t put much emphasis on what we have to offer a relationship, how we plan to live up to what our partner deserves.
Because that can be a hell of a struggle.
We all like to assume we’re perfect lovers, but none of us want to admit that we might not know, 100% of the time, what it takes to make someone feel loved.
Because everyone loves a bit differently. While one person needs physical affection to feel appreciated, another needs words of affirmation. Where one partner needs constant time together to feel close, another simply wants a few texts throughout the week to remind them that they are being thought of.
We don’t want to admit that we can love someone with absolutely all of our hearts and still have to try really, really hard to make it work.
But here’s the simplest and most glorious hack to all of it:
Date someone who makes you want to try.
Date someone who makes you want to go out of your way – to be a bigger, better, more magnanimous person than the one you were before you met them.
Date someone who makes you want to check your shitty habits. Your passive-aggressive tendencies, your argumentative instincts, your affinity for bailing out or ghosting.
Date someone who doesn’t make you think twice – about how you ought to treat them, how they deserve to be loved, whether or not they’re loving you in the way that you deserve, too.
Date someone who brings out the best in you – because they are leading by example.
Because they are patient. And flexible. And fair. And they make you want to be all of those things, too.
Date someone who makes you happy to compromise. Who is worth every argument and speed bump. Who makes you want to keep fighting for them, in the way you always wished someone would fight for you.
Date someone who is flexible in meeting your needs, and then be flexible in meeting theirs.
Date someone who makes you want to be the kind of partner you’ve always wanted to have.
Because the kind of person they are brings out the best in the kind of person you are. Because you bring out the best in each other.
Because the truth is, we’re all capable of being both horrible and wonderful partners.
But some people make us want to try a little harder. Reach a little higher. Whip ourselves into ‘forever person’ material as quickly as possible, because something about them makes us genuinely want to meet their needs. Want to make them happy. Want to be a bigger, better person than we’ve ever been in love, before.
Date someone who makes you want to step into the absolute best version of yourself.
Because chances are, the effect will be mutual.